“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”: No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100

December 11, 2023

… it turned out to be magic. It really did.

Brenda Lee, who turns 79 today, on her song “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” becoming No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the first time, 65 years after it was released (in 1958, the same year Billboard’s Hot 100 debuted).  

Big Picture: Lee recorded “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” at only 13 years old. In reaching No. 1 in 2023, her song breaks multiple records, including the record for “Longest run to No. 1” (Billboard). Only the third holiday song to reach #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” joins two other holiday hits to have ever reached the top: Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and The Chipmunks’/David Seville’s “The Chipmunk Song.”

Did You Know? Amid the peak of Lee’s international fame in 1962, “the Beatles opened for her” while she was on tour in Germany, The New York Times reports, adding, “Years later, in a Rolling Stone interview, John Lennon declared that Lee ‘has the greatest rock ‘n’ roll voice of them all.'”

Read More: Brenda Lee, a Queen of Christmas and So Much More (The New York Times)

Brenda Lee is much bigger than her 1958 Christmas song that just hit No. 1 (NPR)

New Old-Fashioned No. 1: Brenda Lee’s ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ Tops Hot 100, 65 Years After Its Release (Billboard)

Billboard Hot 100

Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum: Brenda Lee

by Leah Grainery, based in Texas